PCOS and Infertility: 1 in 10 women have it

by | September 4th, 2012

Imagine living with a cause of female infertility that begins disrupting your life as a teenager, even before you start trying to get pregnant. Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) causes women to have irregular, often painful periods, embarrassing side effects and ultimately leads to infertility because it interferes with ovulation. Dr. James Douglas frequently sees women suffering from the hormonal imbalance of PCOS.

Symptoms of PCOS can appear at an early age.

Irregular periods are not uncommon at the onset of menstruation, but can become concerning over time. A fertility doctor like Dr. Douglas can identify PCOS as the reason for irregular periods and female infertility after concluding three testing methods:

  1. Blood testing to measure levels of male hormones (androgens) and female hormones (estrogen, FSH, LH levels).
  2. A vaginal sonogram or pelvic laparoscopy of the ovaries to look for a series of small cysts (eggs that are not released at ovulation form these cysts).
  3. A patient interview and physical exam to identify physical symptoms, including hirsutism (excessive hair growth, especially along the midline).

Fortunately, fertility specialists can induce ovulation to help women with PCOS become pregnant.

A father of three, whose wife was a PCOS patient of Dr. Douglas’, offers this advice on a video interview: “Don’t give up. [Dr. Douglas] will find a solution and get you to your end goal of getting pregnant. But don’t give up. It’s worth the time. It’s worth the emotions. Just having that beautiful child at the end of everything.”

This couple overcame PCOS and a blocked fallopian tube with intrauterine insemination (IUI) and a cycle of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) to get pregnant. For many women, drug therapy alone, with ovary-stimulating Clomid or LH-releasing hormone analogs, can make a difference.

Contact a fertility specialist like Dr. Douglas, who has decades of experience diagnosing and treating PCOS at his Plano fertility clinic.


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